Agriculture

Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet reigns supreme as state’s top grape

By Andy Perdue Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of Washington wine country. Washington winemakers harvested 261,000 tons of wine grapes in 2018, up from 229,000 tons in the previous year, based on numbers released in March by the Washington Wine Commission. Washington is the No. 2 producer of wine grapes in the United States, second…

Planting agriculture

Winter’s snow adds strain to agriculture industry

Mid-Columbia farmers facing Yakima basin drought declaration on top of delay in planting, harvest This year’s growing season may be challenging for farmers with possible drought conditions and delayed plantings after winter’s heavy, prolonged snow. Wheat, wine grape, apple, asparagus and potato industry officials reported weather-related delays because of the record snowfall that blanketed the…

NW Farm Supply assistant manager, Mason Vickerman, left, and manager, Kevin McClure, a Prosser native, help prepare the new Prosser store for its June opening at 451 Wine Country Road.

NW Farm Supply selects Prosser for its fourth store

NW Farm Supply expects to open a new store in Prosser this month. The new 13,000-square-foot building sits on 2.78 acres at 451 Wine Country Road, adjacent to Shopko Hometown. The company opened its first store in Hermiston in 1995. The Oregon shop, started by Nathan Crowther and John Lloyd, serves as the NW Farm…

Dayton-based Columbia Pulp is building its first mill, anticipated to be up and running by the end of 2018. The mill will synthesize a projected 140,000 tons per year of paper-making pulp from wheat straw via a proprietary process developed by two University of Washington researchers, Mark Lewis and Bill McKean. (Courtesy Columbia Pulp)

New mill to convert wheat straw to pulp expects to hire 80 people

Progress is moving forward on Columbia Pulp’s new plant north of Dayton. With a pilot plant starting in July in Pomeroy and the goal of beginning pulp production at the Lyons Ferry operation in the fourth quarter this year, the company is ramping up recruitment efforts. CEO John Begley said the pilot plant “is a…

Wade Carter, president of Northwest Agricultural Consultants, stands outside the Kennewick-based analytical lab, which specializes in soil, plant fertility and water testing for both residential and commercial clients. The company was founded in the 1970s by Marr Waddoups.

Kennewick lab provides fast, accurate analysis of ag samples

For more than 35 years, Northwest Agricultural Consultants has been providing the Columbia Basin with quality, in-house soil, plant and water testing services, continually upgrading its equipment and testing methods to deliver fast results. Company President Wade Carter said the accredited lab strives for one-day or better turnaround, processing tens of thousands of samples from…

The new winery general permit establishes practices to help wineries manage their wastewater by providing broad, efficient and consistent coverage. (Courtesy Washington State Wine Commission)

New state winery permit aims to protect water quality

Washington’s wineries and the state Department of Ecology have collaborated to develop the first statewide water quality permit that aims to help the industry prevent pollution and protect water quality. This new winery general permit establishes practices to help wineries manage their wastewater by providing broad, efficient and consistent coverage. The permit is scheduled to…

Justin Toner, from left, Josh Toner, Brad Toner, Ann Manley, Brooke Manley Rodriguez, Tina Randles and Laauli Faamausili stand in front of Manley Crop Insurance, which was acquired by Basin Pacific Insurance & Benefits in May. The Prosser office will keep its location and name. 

Kennewick business acquires Prosser crop insurance company

After years of referring business to one another, Basin Pacific Insurance & Benefits acquired Manley Crop Insurance in Prosser for an undisclosed amount. Brad Toner, owner of the Kennewick insurance and benefits agency, said the transaction—which was solidified in May—felt more like a merger because the two companies share such similar business philosophies. “We had…

T. Michael Tallman is a certified financial planner and advisor at HFG Trust in Kennewick.

Trusts can keep the family farm in the family

By T. Michael Tallman I can still remember the days of working with my dad and grandpa on the farm. Each fall while they were driving a harvester, I drove a truck to get our crops to market. It always seemed like we spent more time on repairs and maintenance of the equipment than harvesting…

Naidu Rayapati gives a talk to growers in a vineyard near Prosser. He has been named director of the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser and assistant dean for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University Tri-Cities. (Courtesy WSU)

WSU grape virologist named assistant dean, director

A world-renowned plant pathologist has been named director of the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser and assistant dean for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland. Naidu Rayapati studies virus diseases in a variety of crops, with an emphasis on wine grapes. He’s…

Washington State University Tri-Cities wine researcher Jim Harbertson enjoys, admires and carefully weighs the hues, shades and tints of rosé wine. His research helped determine that sulfur dioxide management is an important factor in developing the color of rosés. (Courtesy WSU)

WSU wine researcher helps winemakers achieve ideal shades of rosé

Jim Harbertson sees through rosé-colored glasses finely-tuned shades and hues ranging from blush and coral to berry jam. Harbertson, a wine researcher at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland, has become an expert in the science of pink-esque pretty. With the rosé wine craze in full bloom and warmer weather helping to catapult its popularity,…

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Calendar

Celebrate! Faith and Cultures Festival

June 16 @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Know Your Brain Series every Friday Evening in June

June 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Karaoke at Lee’s Pasco

June 21 @ 9:00 pm - June 22 @ 1:00 am